Experts weigh in on preventing dog attacks

New Haven

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A 78-year-old woman was attacked by a pit bull Tuesday when her tenant was trying to get her acquainted with the dog. The woman suffered severe injuries to her face and neck. Robi Tatkin with ABC Obedience Dog Training said, “That’s not just get away from me, that’s I want to hurt you.” Tatkin, a professional dog trainer, she said, “That’s not just a bite. That’s not just defensive bite, that is a multiple bite attack in the upper region of the person, which makes it so much worse.”

Tatkin added, “She’s very lucky the dog didn’t latch on and hold on. I think that’s because she got the neighbors to come and help her. If the neighbors didn’t come to help her, it would have been much worse.” Tatkin said an attack can easily happen with any breed. “It has nothing to do with the breed of the dog, but they are just very strong. They are very strong and very tenacious so if they grab sometimes it’s worse,” said Tatkin. She told NEWS8 there is not much you can do to stop a dog from attacking. Tatkin added, “If you can get away, get away jump into a car or over a fence or behind some kind of barrier then you have a chance.”

She said don’t run because you’ll never out run a dog. Tatkin added, “The first thing I look for that makes me very nervous is a stiff dog, the mouth gets clamped shut and the body goes still usually that’s time to watch out.” Tatkin is teaching dogs not to be aggressive. Tatkin told NEWS8 a good way to tell if a dog has basic training the animal will have a certificate from the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program, meaning that the dog is safe to greet people and other dogs and has some level of control. Tatkin added, “It’s a much stronger chance that the dog is going to be social and safe. Because anyone can say my dog is friendly.”

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